Two Zimbabweans arrested for illegal mining in South Africa

The Chronicle

Thupeyo Muleya, Beitbridge Bureau

South Africa’s elite police unit, the Hawks have arrested two Zimbabweans, a Mozambican, and three South Africans believed to be part of an illegal gold mining racket in Mpumalanga province.

The gang was arrested in two separate incidents on Friday and is expected to appear at the Kabokweni Magistrate Court today.

Hawks spokesperson for Mpumalanga province, Captain Dineo Lucy Sekgotodi confirmed the incident.

She identified the suspects as Godfrey Siyabonga Sithole (45), Godfrey Mongezi (32) both Zimbabwean, Simone Tobias Macha (25) from Mozambican, Bagayi John Shongwe (77), Musa Matimela (58), and Nkosinathi Vilakazi (25) who are South African nationals.

“They were arrested during a multidisciplinary intelligence driven operation conducted by the Hawks’ Nelspruit based Serious Organised Crime Investigation together with National Intervention Unit, Tactical Response Team and Department of Home Affairs based in Nelspruit on the same day in Matsulu-C.

“The six were arrested for illegal possession of gold bearing materials and illegal dealing in gold in two separate premises respectively. The joint operation was aimed at disrupting illegal mining activities around Mpumalanga,” said Capt Sekgotod.

Two laboratories that were processing gold-bearing materials were dismantled and numerous mining equipment, implements, and a vehicle were seized.

In April this year, 10 Zimbabwean men were jailed for two years by a South African court after they were arrested for illegal mining activities in the Giyani area under Limpopo province.

The gang was arrested by the neighbouring country’s elite police, the Hawks in May last year following a tip-off.

They were found with an assortment of mining equipment worth R900 000 and cash of R380 000 along the R81 near Giyani Shopping centre.

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Article Source: The Chronicle

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